Printable VersionScouting Terms

Select the first letter of the word from the list below to jump to appropriate section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a digit or symbol, choose the '#' link.

**Note: Some terms are abbreviated using capital letters of a combination; for example CoH and COH both are the abbreviation for Court of Honor.

A   |  B   |  C   |  D   |  E   |  F   |  G   |  H   |  I   |  J   |  K   |  L   |  M   |  N   |  O   |  P   |  Q   |  R   |  S   |  T   |  U   |  V   |  W   |  X   |  Y   |  Z   |  #  |


- A -

AA - (see Associate Advisor - U.S. Explorer Post)

AAC - (see Assistant Area Commissioner)

AAD - (see Assistant Area Director)

AC - (see Area Commissioner)

ACL - (see Assistant Cub Leader)

achievement - The name given to a major requirement in the Cub Scout program. There are twelve achievements required to earn the Wolf or Bear ranks.

activities and civic service committee - The council and/or district committee responsible for planning, promoting and operating activities.

activity badge - One of twenty recognition's that may be earned by Webelos Scouts in hobby or career fields such as drama, science, nature, athletics, citizenship, etc.

activity badge counselor - An adult who counsels a Webelos den on one or more of the activity badges.

AD - (see Area Director)

AD - (see Assistant Denner)

ADC - (see Assistant District Commissioner)

ADE - (see Assistant District Executive)

ADL - (see Assistant Den Leader)

advanced training - In depth training for experienced adult leaders, such as Wood Badge.

advancement - The process by which a Scout meets certain requirements and earns recognition.

Akela - (Pronounced Ah-KAY-la) A title of respect in the Cub Scout program, referring to any good leader-parent, teacher, minister, Scouting leader, etc. The name originated from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. See "The Story of Akela and Mowgli" in the Wolf Cub Scout Book. Akela is also the leader and guide for boys on the Wolf trail.

Alpha Phi Omega (APO) - A coeducational service fraternity organized in many colleges and universities. Its membership is primarily former and current members of Scouts.

Anniversary Week - (See "Scouting Anniversary Week.")

AoL  - (see Webelos Arrow of Light Award)

AOM - (see Award of Merit. AKA District Award of Merit)

AP - (see Area President)

APL - (see Assistant Patrol Leader)

APO - (see Alpha Phi Omega)

Appalachian Trail (AT) -

aquatics instructor, BSA - A five-year certification awarded to an adult who satisfactorily completes the aquatics section at a BSA National Camping School.

ARC - (see Assistant Regional Commissioner)

Area Commissioner (AC) -

Area Director (AD) - A professional Scouter on a regional staff who relates to and works with an area president in giving direct service to local councils.

Area President (AP) - The ranking elected volunteer officer in an area who heads the area committee.

Arrow of Light Award  (AoL) - Highest award in Cub Scouting. May be earned by Webelos Scouts. The only Cub Scout badge that may be worn on the Boy Scout uniform.

Arrow Point - Award for earning ten elective credits in Wolf or Bear books. The first ten electives earned in either rank represent a Gold Arrow Point. Subsequent groups of ten earn Silver Arrow Points.

Arrowhead Honor - A recognition given to commissioners who have completed specific training projects.

ASM - (see Assistant Scoutmaster)

ASPL - (see Assistant Senior Patrol Leader)

Assistant Area Commissioner (AAC) -

Assistant Area Director (AAD) -

Assistant Cub Leader (ACL) -

Assistant Cubmaster (CA) - A registered leader in the pack, 18 years of age or older.

Assistant Den Leader (DA) - A registered leader in the pack, 18 years of age or older.

Assistant Denner (AD) - A Cub Scout or Webelos Scout elected by his peers to help the denner. (See "denner.")

Assistant District Commissioner (ADC) - A Scouter who helps the district commissioner.

Assistant District Executive (ADE) -

Assistant Patrol Leader (APL) - A Boy Scout in the patrol appointed by the patrol leader to help him and to take his place in his absence.

Assistant Regional Commissioner (ARC) - 

Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) - A commissioned volunteer Scouter, 18 or older, who helps the Scoutmaster by working with the troop and with a new-Scout patrol or Venture patrol.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) - a troop youth leader, usually in larger troops, who helps the senior patrol leader with details of his job.

Assistant Webelos Den Leader (WA) - A registered leader in a pack, at least 18 years of age.

Associate Advisor - U.S. Explorer Post (AA) -

AT - (see Appalachian Trail)

Award of Merit (aka: District Award of Merit

- B -

B-P Baden-Powell (Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell) Baden-Powell, Robert Stephenson Smyth - Founder of the worldwide Scouting movement. Born in London, February 22, 1857. He is referred to as Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Chief Scout of the World. Died January 8, 1941.

B & G - (see Blue & Gold Banquet)

Baden-Powell - Robert Stephenson Smyth. Founder of the worldwide Scouting movement. Known as Lord Baden-Powell, Chief Scout of the World, and B-P.

Baden-Powell Patrol Award - An embroidered star worn beneath the patrol medallion distinguishes a member of a patrol that won this award by meeting requirements in : spirit, patrol meetings, hikes, outdoor activities, Good Turns, advancement, membership, uniform and PLC attendance. The motto of BSA : Be Prepared, honor his initials.

Baloo - (Pronounced Bah-LOO) The friendly bear in Kipling's Jungle Book taught Mowgli the ways of the jungle. Parents and adult guides act as Baloo for Cub Scouts on the Bear trail in the same way they took the part of Akela for Cub Scouts on the Wolf trail.

Basic Leadership Training (BLT) - 

Be Prepared - The motto of Boy Scouting.

Bear - The Cub Scout rank designed for a third-grade Cub Scout (or one who is 9). Bear rank is earned by completing twelve of twenty-four achievements. (See the Bear Cub Scout Book.)

BL - (see Boy's Life)

BLT - (see Basic Leadership Training)

Blue and Gold Banquet (B&G) - A birthday dinner for Scouting held by Cub Scout packs in February, to celebrate the founding of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910 and Cub Scouting in 1930.

Board of Review (BoR) - A review held to determine if a Boy Scout has satisfactorily completed rank requirements.

Bobcat - The first rank for all boys who join Cub Scouting.

BoR - (see Board of Review)

boy-fact survey - A survey used to find who potential members are and where they live.

Boy Scout - A registered youth member of a Boy Scout troop or one registered as a Lone Scout. Must have completed the fifth grade and be 11 years old, or have earned the Arrow of Light Award but not yet be 18 years old.

Boy Scouts of America - A nationwide organization founded February 8, 1910, and chartered by the U.S. Congress June 1916. Also known as the BSA.

Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner - (see Commissioner)

Boy's Life - The magazine published by the Boy Scouts of America to help boys broaden their horizons in Scouting.

BP - (see Baden-Powell) (Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell)

BP&P - By-laws, Policies & Procedures

Bronze Palm - An Eagle Scout may receive this recognition by earnng five additional merit badges and completing certain other requirements.

Brotherhood membership - The second and final induction phase of membership in the Order of the Arrow.

BSA - (see Boy Scouts of America)

BSA Family Award - The BSA Family Award is earned by a Cub Scout and his family when they complete five of eight requirements that are outlined in the BSA Family Book.

BSA Family Camping - An opportunity for the whole family to go camping and participate in outdoor activities on BSA property.

BSA Family Program - The BSA Family Program, as outlined in the BSA Family Book, helps strengthen families of Cub Scouts and encourages family involvement in Scouting. The program includes a weekly "family talk" that provides family members an opportunity to learn and to practice relationship skills, and suggested family activities that fulfill

BSA Lifeguard - A three-year certification awarded to Boy Scouts who meet prescribed requirements in aquatics skills.

BSA Mission Statement - It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential The values we strive to Instill are based on those found in the Scout Oath and Law.

BSRTC - (see Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner)

Buddy System - A part of Safe Swim Defense. Swimmers of like ability are paired, check in and out of the water together, and stay within 10 feet of each other during the swim. Buddy system is used also in other activities such as hiking and field trips for safety reasons.

budget plan - A method used by a troop to develop thrift habits. A yearly budget is established and weekly dues are agreed upon.

bugler - An appointed youth position in a Boy Scout troop.

- C -

CA - (see Assistant Cubmaster)

campcraft - Skills for living in the outdoors, such as shelter construction, fire building, cooking, and field sanitation.

camping director. (CD) - The Scouter responsible for development of the year-round camping program of the council.

Campmaster (CM) -

Camporee - A district or council troop activity to demonstrate the techniques of living in camp.

campsite - A troop or patrol outdoor home for an overnight or long-term camp.

captain - The youth leader of a Varsity Scout team.

CBLT - Cub Basic Leadership Training

CC - (see Committee Chairman)

CD - (see Camping Director)

Center for Professional Development (CPD). The training center for all professional Scouters. Located 15 miles west of the national office.

Chapter - (see OA)

Charter - The Boy Scouts of America was granted a federal charter in 1916 to provide a program of character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness for all boys. The BSA issues charters annually to organizations to use the Scouting program. Formal permission from the Boy Scouts of America allowing a unit to organize.

Chartered Organization /Chartering Organization  (CO) - The sponsoring organization of the pack. This organization may be a religious, civic, fraternal, educational or other community-based group. Monthly unit meetings are usually held in a building owned by that organization. 

Chartered Organization Representative (COR) - The liaison between the chartered organization and the unit. Represents the organization on the local council and district level.

Chartered Partner (CP) -

Charter Presentation - A formal ceremony in which the charter and membership certificates are presented to the chartered organization and members of the chartered unit.

Charter Renewal - A meeting attended by the chartered organization representative, the head of the chartered organization, unit leaders, and the unit commissioner for the purpose of completing the charter application and making plans for the charter presentation. Held annually.

Chief - OA

Chief Scout Executive (CSE). The top-ranking professional Scouter of the Boy Scouts of America.

CM - (see Campmaster)

CM - (see Cubmaster)

CO - (see Chartered Organization)

Coach - The commissioned volunteer Scouter, 21 or older, appointed to lead a Varsity Scout team.

cocaptain - an assistant youth leader of a Varsity Scout team.

CoH - (see Court of Honor)

Commissioner - A volunteer Scouter who works with packs, troops, teams and crews to help units succeed. In addition to the council commissioner, there are district commissioners, assistant district commissioners, roundtable commissioners, and unit commissioners.

Committee Chairman (CC) - An adult 21 years of age or older, the executive officer of the committee, who works with the Cubmaster/Scoutmaster to assure that the unit provides a quality Scouting program.

Committee Member (MC) - An adult 21 years of age or older who works with the Committee Chairman to assure that the unit provides a quality Scouting program.

Compass Point Patch - Award earned by Webelos Scouts as they advance in the Webelos program. This cloth patch is hung by a loop from a button on the boy's right shirt pocket. Metal pins are added to the patch and attached at compass points (north, east, south and west) as the boy advances by earning activity badges.

C.O.P.E. - Project COPE - Challenging Outdoor Physical Experience - A team building and self esteem building physical challenge designed to broaden a scouts abilities and self confidence . Scouts depend on themselves and each other to complete the course while guided and guarded by trained COPE Counselors. Consists of problem solving exercises, low course (6 feet or less off ground) and high course (25 feet or more) where participants are belayed and safety is of utmost concern.

COR - (see Chartered Organization Representative)

council - A chartered body of representatives from organizations operating Scouting units and members at large responsible for Scouting in a designated geographic area.

Council Headquarters - The local office for Scouting in a specific geographic area. The country is divided into more than 300 local councils.

council president - The elected volunteer Scouter who heads the council and chairs the executive board.

council service center - The business center for the local administration of Scouting.

council shoulder patch (CSP) - 

Court of Honor (CoH) - A recognition ceremony for those who have met the requirements of any one of the Boy Scout ranks, merit badges, or other awards.

CP - (see Chartered Partner)

Crackerbarrel - a time of fellowship and friendship with light snacks and refreshments.

Crew Chief - The elected youth leader of a Venture Crew.

crew president - The youth leader of a Venturing crew.

CS - (see Cub Scout)

CSBLT - (see Cub Basic Leadership Training)

CSE - (see Chief Scout Executive)

CSP - (see Council Shoulder Patch)

CSRTC - (see Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner)

Cubmaster (CM) - An adult 21 years of age or older, who holds this commission in a Cub Scout pack. The pack leader and Akela for the pack, serves as Master of Ceremonies during monthly pack meetings.

Cubmaster Award - A blue square knot on a gold field awarded to Cubmasters who have completed training and performance and served for 2 years.

Cub Scout (CS) - A boy who is registered with a Cub Scout pack. 

Cub Scouter - An adult registered member of a Cub Scout pack, 18 years of age or older.

Cub Scouter Award - A blue and gold square knot on a blue field awarded to Cub Scouters who have completed training and performance and served for 2 years at the pack level and/or in a district or council Cub Scout position.

Cub Scout Day Camp. - "The camp that comes to the boy." An organized one- to five-day program for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts under certified leadership at an approved site, usually during daylight or early evening hours. but not overnight.

Cub Scout Handshake - Used by Cub Scouts and Scouters with the right hand. It is given like an ordinary handshake except the index and middle fingers are extended toward the other person, touching his wrist.

Cub Scout Motto - "Do Your Best."

Cub Scout Promise -

I, (name), promise to do my best

To do my duty to God and my country

To help other people, and

To obey the Law of the Pack.

Cub Scout Resident Camp - An overnight camping activity conducted by the council for Cub Scouts and/or Webelos Scouts and their parents.

Cub Scout Salute - A hand salute made by Cub Scouts and Scouters with the fingers of the right hand held in position as for Cub Scout Sign, except that the index and middle fingers are held together. The tips of the fingers touch the right eyebrow or the Cub Scout hat.

Cub Scout Sign - A sign made by raising the right hand straight up high over the head with the palm forward. The first two fingers are wide apart and pointing up as in a V. The thumb covers the nails of the ring and little fingers. This sign symbolizes the ears of Akela, and when held up, the group should become silent.

- D -

DA - (see Assistant Den Leader)

DAC - (see District Activities Chairman)

DAM - (see District Award of Merit)

Day Camp - Summertime fun for all registered Cub Scouts. This daytime program allows boys to interact with boys from other packs and keeps boys and adults active in the Cub Scout movement.

DC - (see district committee chair)

DC - (see Den Chief)

DC - (see District Commissioner)

DE - (see District Executive)

Declaration of Religious Principles (DRP) - 

Den - Small group of Cub Scouts who meet once a week in the home of a den leader to work on projects, learn games, songs, tricks and skits to be presented at monthly pack meeting.

Den Chief (DC) - A Boy Scout or Varsity Scout who has been appointed to help direct the activities of a Cub Scout den.

Den Doodle - Advancements record using beads, spools or markers hung on string, lacing or yarn by each boy to represent his advancement. It is displayed at monthly pack meetings.

Den Leader (DL) - The adult on-the-scene supervisor of a Cub Scout den. A registered member of the pack who attends basic training.

Den Leader Award - A gold square knot on a blue field awarded to den leaders who have completed training and performance and served for two years.

Den Leader Coach (DLC) - A Cub Scouter who is responsible for working with and helping den leaders in the pack.

Den Leader Coach Award - A blue square knot on a blue field awarded to den leader coaches who have completed training and performance and served 2 years.

Denner - Cub Scout who helps the den leader with den and pack meetings. This is generally a rotating position so each Cub Scout may serve and learn a little about helping and leadership.

density - Percentage of the total available youth who are members.

DFS - (see director of field services)

Direct Service Council - The national office center through which U.S. citizens in other parts of the world retain membership and affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America.

director of field services (DFS) - A professional Scouter who supervises two or more field directors in a council.

Distinguished Eagle Scout Award - A recognition bestowed upon a man who received the Eagle Scout Award 25 or more years ago and has made an unusual contribution to his community.

Distinguished Service Award - Presented to Order of the Arrow members who have rendered outstanding service to the Order on a section, area, regional, or national basis.

distribution center - The warehouse from which BSA equipment, literature, uniforms, and other supplies are dispensed. located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

district - Level of the Scout organization directly under the council. Each Cub Scout belongs to a den, each den belongs to a pack, each pack belongs to a district, each district belongs to a council, each council belongs to a region, and all regions belong to the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America.

District Award of Merit - A silver knot on a dark blue field awarded for outstanding service by a volunteer on the district level.

district commissioner (DC) - A volunteer Scouter who is in charge of all commissioners within a district.

district committee - A group of registered adult scouters responsible for carrying out the council program within their district.

district committee chairman - The executive officer of the district committee.

district executive (DE) - district executive. A professional Scouter who works under the direction of the council Scout executive to support the units and act as an adviser to the volunteer leaders in the district.

district scout leader -

DL - (see Den Leader)

DLC - (see Den Leader Coach)

DO - (see Dutch Oven)

"Do Your Best" - The Cub Scout motto.

DRP - (see Declaration of Religious Principle)

DSC - (see Direct Service Council)

DSL - (see District Scout Leader)

Dutch Oven (DO) -

- E -

EA - (see Explorer Post Advisor)

Eagletter - A periodical published for members of the National Eagle Scout Association.

Eagle Scout - The highest rank for Scouts.

Eagle Scout Award - The highest recognition for Scouts.

EE - (see Exploring Executive. A professional Scouter working under the direction of the Scout Executive.)

Elective - A part of the Cub Scout advancement program. There are electives in both the Wolf and Bear rank books. For every 10 electives completed, a Cub Scout earns an arrow point.

EOA - (see Explorer Officers' Association)

executive board - The National Executive Board is the governing body of the Boy Scouts of America. There is an executive board in each council which is the policy-making body at the local level.

Explorer Post Advisor -

Exploring Executive (EE) - A professional Scouter working under the direction of the Scout Executive.)

Explorer Officers' Association (EOA) -


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This page was last edited 11/15/09